Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Reflecting on Veterans

New veterans cemetery in Camden to be dedicated Memorial Day weekend

Reflecting on Veterans

A new veterans cemetery in Camden is to be dedicated Memorial Day weekend, so we did a story this week on the site. Over the past few years I'd noticed a billboard on Route 130 for the Camden County Veterans Cemetery, but had no idea where it would be located. Not a clue that it has been slowly rising since 2007 from along the Cooper River. County veterans advocates gave Inquirer writer Edward Colimore and me a tour, and pointed out long-abandoned remains of the original 1885 gate posts which, until the 1920s, served as a back entrance to the adjacent famed Harleigh Cemetery (final resting place of Walt Whitman).

I thought that was a pretty cool detail, so I hiked down to the river to get it into the photo as the vets walked up the hill. I also really liked the old tree. Nothing against another veterans cemetery I photographed a few years back, but if I had to choose a resting place, I'd rather have some trees around me.

At the top of the hill, there not were some graves already, but a mausoleum. Highly polished black granite. There are just some things that are just too hard to ignore if you're a photographer.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at tgralish@phillynews.com.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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